Choosing the perfect P-plate friendly car is a delicate balancing act for all Australian families, tossing up between something that looks and feels exciting, but is safe for the driver and passengers.
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It’s also important to consider things like running costs, fuel efficiency figures, insurance costs and the ownership program when shopping around for a P-plate friendly car, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at ten of the best options on the market.
If affordable asking prices and peace of mind from a long ownership program are atop your priority list for a P-plate friendly car, the Kia Picanto is well worth a closer look.
The Picanto range is priced from just $15,990 for the entry-level Picanto S manual, which comes powered by a 1.25-litre four-cylinder engine producing 62kW of power and 122Nm of torque and returns fuel economy figures of just 5.0L/100km.
The Picanto has been awarded a four-star ANCAP safety rating and offers buyers an 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, cruise control and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard.
Best of all, the Picanto comes backed by a seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty that gives buyers long-term confidence, and a seven-year capped price servicing package that helps to control ownership costs over time.
The Mazda 3 is one of the best P-plate friendly cars in Australia, offering buyers a stylish, safe and well-equipped package that is a heap of fun to drive.
The Mazda 3 range kicks off from $27,040 for both sedan and hatchback variants, giving buyers some added variety, both of which come powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol producing 114kW of power and 200Nm of torque, and sip 6.1L per 100km.
The Mazda 3 comes generously equipped with LED headlights, 16-inch alloys, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, a head-up display and 8.8-inch infotainment system, atop a generous amount of safety equipment - all backed by a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The Toyota Corolla has become almost a rite of passage for P-plate drivers thanks to its affordable price tag, user-friendly nature and robust safety features that make it a great option for young drivers.
To make things even better, Toyota has updated the Corolla range with hybrid engines available across every model grade, including the entry-level Corolla Ascent for both its hatchback and sedan variants.
Fuel economy for the standard Corolla stands at 6.0L/100km, and drops to just 4.2L/100km for the Corolla hybrid, making it a great option for budget-conscious young drivers.
The Corolla has been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating and receives AEB braking, lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control and a rear-view camera as standard.
For drivers looking for a great value pick and P-plate friendly SUV, the MG ZS range offers a seriously impressive list of features for the money.
The MG ZS Excite is priced at just $22,990 drive-away, and comes powered by a modest little 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 84kW of power and 150Nm of torque, with fuel economy figures standing at 7.1L/100km.
Standard equipment for the ZS Excite includes 17-inch alloys, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay.
On a similar note, Mitsubishi’s ASX, is a great value pick for P-platers looking for a compact SUV package that offers a decent amount of space and practicality.
The base model comes powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder producing 110kW of power and 197Nm of torque, paired with a five-speed manual or CVT automatic that is relatively fuel-efficient at 7.6L/100km.
Where the ASX really excels, though, is the ten-year warranty coverage - when serviced within Mitsubishi’s network - and the five-star ANCAP safety rating that makes it a confidence-inspiring first car for a P-plate driver.
While the Hyundai i30 is a much more mature car than it used to be, thanks to the affordable price tag, it remains an excellent P-plate friendly car to own, insure and maintain.
The i30 is available in both a hatchback and sedan, offering buyers a heap of variety within the line-up that uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol producing 120kW/203Nm in the base model, with a six-speed manual and automatic on offer.
The hatchback has an impressive amount of space for rear passengers and a boot totalling 395L, while the sedan packs a 474L boot which is great for weekend adventures.
Both have been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating, and come fitted with autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warnings, lane-keep and lane-trace assist, making the i30 a heavy-hitter in terms of safety equipment.
Volkswagen’s smallest car, the Polo, has very much proved itself as a capable city car and very appropriate option for P-plate drivers.
Prices for the latest VW Polo stand at $25,250, which comes powered by a spirited little 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder that produces 70kW of power and 175Nm of torque, which is paired with a five-speed manual transmission.
Fuel economy figures for the VW Polo stand at 5.4L/100km on a combined cycle, with luggage space in the boot rated at 351L making for a surprisingly practical small package.
The Volkswagen Polo has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, and comes fitted with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assistance, front & rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera as standard.
The Toyota Yaris is absolute proof that small hatchbacks have a heap of personality to offer drivers, and comes fitted with a heap of comfort, entertainment and safety technologies to sweeten the deal.
The Yaris range kicks off from $23,740 for the entry-level Ascent Sport variant, which is fitted with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol producing 88kW of power and 145Nm while returning fuel economy figures of just 4.9L per 100km.
Better yet, Toyota has a hybrid engine option for the Yaris that drops fuel economy figures to just 3.3L/100km, making for one of the most fuel-efficient P-plate friendly cars you’ll find on the market today.
The Toyota Yaris has received a five-star ANCAP safety rating, and packs AEB braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warnings and emergency steering assist as standard.
For buyers in the market for a cheap and charming P-plate friendly car, it’s difficult to walk past the value proposition on offer in the latest MG MG3.
The MG3 lineup kicks off from $18,990 drive-away for the entry-level MG3 Core, which comes powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 82kW/150Nm, paired with an automatic transmission that helps to return fuel economy figures of 6.7L per 100km.
For the money, the MG3 is one of the best-equipped packages for P-plate drivers, with features like 15-inch alloys, LED daytime running lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, rear-view camera and 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay fitted as standard.
Last but by no means least, the Kia Rio is a very impressive P-plate friendly car which kicks off from $19,690 here in Australia.
The base model Kia Rio S comes powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder producing 74kW of power and 133Nm of torque, with fuel economy figures standing at 5.6L per 100km on a combined cycle.
Standard equipment for the base model includes a set of 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, a rear-view camera with parking sensors and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
Best of all, the Rio receives Kia’s outstanding seven-year, unlimited KM warranty and a five-star ANCAP safety rating that makes it an ideal candidate for a P-plate friendly car.
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